January 20, 2022
Weak construction industry register bill needs significant amendment – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the new government bill which seeks to place a construction industry register on a statutory footing. 

The Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2022 will be debated at second stage today in the Dáil.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2022 is a long overdue piece of legislation that was first mooted in the 1960s. The Law Reform Commission in 1977 stressed the need for a statutory register of construction industry professionals. After a review in the 1990s, the register was finally introduced in a voluntary capacity in 2014.

“Placing this register on a statutory footing is hugely important to both improve standards and to provide greater protections for consumers.

“Sinn Féin will not be opposing the bill at this stage, however, there are significant flaws in the legislation that must be addressed.

“We do not believe that the register should be located in the Construction Industry Federation. There must be a clear separation between the industry and the register. It should be in a state body such as the National Building Control Office.

“Furthermore, there is no need for a two-year lead-in to the register. The register has existed on a voluntary footing since 2014 and there is no reason why all construction professionals should not be able to register this year.

“The investigation process, as detailed in the bill, is cumbersome and the sanctions are limited. Given how this state is living with a legacy of poor construction practices there should be a zero-tolerance approach to building control. We need to see tougher sanctions in place for breaches of building regulations.

“I will be submitting a range of amendments to try and strengthen this bill. We have been waiting a long time for governments to get their act together and introduce this construction register. It is important that we make it as robust as possible.”

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